Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Improvisation on a broken piano string

I recorded this a while ago (obviously before i left) and it was because one of my favorite notes, a low A string broke on my piano. Well, when life gives you lemons.... I FINALLY got it hosted (no thanks to ourmedia, which seems to be having technical problems and a nasty habit of completely wasting my time. Anyway, it was fun to play, hopefully when i get back i can get it fixed. There are actually two broken strings. The A flat plays sustained without pedal. I tried to eploit this here as well- and the sonority has changed, but i doubt that comes though in my shitty recordings. Anyway, more pictures of france!

Chateau Querais, Les Hautes-Alpes and Aix again.

Aix-En-Provence et plus des images des les Hautes-Alpes


Aix's cathedral interior...

After Le corbusier?

Embrun's square and Cathedral

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

French Alps

No, this is not a postcard, yes its real and
I took this

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Embrun 2

Im currently re-discovering late beatles while touring and hiking around (and speaking french) This is the nerdiest thing to admit, ever, but the reason why i decided to learn french was because my favorite piano music was french, and written with elaborate french descriptions. "comme un cloche qui sonne lointain"err... something like that (like a bell that rings far away) and titles like "reflets dans l'eau" Ultimately, you could say, Debussy's and Ravels music drove me here, but that was the reason for starting, not continuing my studies.

Anyway, im currently debating on if i should just let this become a temporary travel blog. You, my 3 or 4 viewers wouldnt mind, right? if i just rambled on and posted a ton of pictures for a few weeks? Once i get settled in nantes normal programming should resume.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Currently in Embrun, France, Dans les Hautes Alpes. C'est tres beau. Pictures will come soon.

Music related? i heard a man on a french horn playing an endless loop of Schubert's Ave Maria outside the Basillica en Marseille... and i also bought Feldman's 1st string quartet (the not-as-insanely long one) during my layover in dallas. Im also currently enjoying my fairly new CD of Cage's prepared piano pieces. I love the prepared piano, what a fucking brilliant move on cage's part (the only problem, which really isnt much of one in certain respects, is the lack of standardization for the prepared piano). The music is great too, he really did a great job writing for the instrument.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My flight from Phoneix to London has been canceled (as of this morning?) (i was supposed to leave today), thanks to the fuck-tard managment at British air (well, and other things). There are people on the other side waiting for me in marseille, but what do they care, im just another number. Im convinced they are unreasonable and im not just an angry young american, there are brits too who are pissed.

It currently looks like im going to go to dallas for a 12 hour layover. then to paris, then the tgv to marseille, fuck british air and london, im not going there at all. Where im going to sleep and eat in this plan is unknown to me.

i want those 24 (or however number of people who planned that shit) dead. I want them to suffer, i want their heads on a spike, because in reality, those bastards who profanities cant even come close to describe are the real fuck-ups in humanity- the ones responsible for this. irrationally angry? well, sure.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Images, book 1

Metropolitan is the name of both this building and my piece. I had mentioned earlier that i was thinking about writing music in paraline form, well, this is in (somewhat warped) perspective. If anyone tries to tell me that my music is non-musical because it fulfills a notational standard (an image on paper) first and the actual musical substance second, bullshit i say. Mine is no less musical than seralism- because serialism's values are the same- the notational demands are there first and the music is fitted into the frame. Image precedes experience.

anyway, the most common question has been "is it actually playable? does it sound good?" Well, depends on your notion of "good"... and yes, its playable, hence the A's and B's and the Part 1,2,3,4. There are only two bars but they can be played in any order the performers want and in any combination that the performers like. There is no prescribed instrumentation, its just whatever instruments can play the notes.

Most importantly, its also a gift for a non-musical friend. Its her favorite building in New York.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The return of Bartok the String Quartets

So i was harsh on them earlier, but i've been listening quite a lot to numbers 3-6.

I have come to prefer 3 and 5, 5 in particular has some lovely passages- the scherzo in SQ#5 in particular brings some color and light to what are otherwise fairly grim scenes, i love the vitality in these two quartets, while SQ#6 seems so bleak and desolate (as do the slow movements in other SQs), i love music with real vigor, energy. I love the plucked glissandi in SQ#3 and the occasional outbursts of visceral dissonances. I wish i could share this music with someone with strong ears, theres some very good stuff here. Bartok often appears to really be interested in sonority in a very modern (read: contemporary) way, and this surprises me for some reason. There are those passages where the musical material seems preoccupied with giving the listener something they're unprepared to hear... something they have not heard before and something interesting in a purely aural sense.

SQ 4 has not impressed me yet. I didn’t find much of interest, but i should give it another fair listen.

All and all Bartok is difficult to listen to in that his musical material is rarely revisited and the variations (or development) spun off the opening material are often difficult to follow. His harmonies often lack enough contrast to bring warmth or color, but sometimes flow into a certain monotony in black and gray. The dissonance is great, but it is rarely intense to the point of becoming visceral or passionate, or even surprising or interesting. This is bartok at his worst, but like i said, at his best he really hits it off, he brings some really great ideas to the string quartet form.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

8 DAYS (practically)

luntil i leave this continent. I will be boarding a plane on the morning of the 14th and head to... phoenix. BUT! after phoenix i will fly to LONDON! in ENGLAND... and then board another plane and fly to... marseille, france.

I will be spending the next 11 months in the french nation of france and i will be studying France's french language. It should be interesting.

We have figured out that its currently cheaper for me to go study at a university in france than it is to study at a public university as an in-state student here. That is ridiculous, but it is a fact. 800 bucks gets me a semister of dorm and classes... plus they're brand new dorms built with single occupancy rooms.

and france has better food.

So i expect i will enjoy my trip. If i dont, i'll deal with it and enjoy the fact that im not sharing nation-space with the republican party.

au revoir

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Debussy! Clowns!

what do clowns have to do with this stargazer version of Debussy's Arabesque #1? Fuck i dont know but i laughed harder than i have all month. Its also somewhat disturbing.